Everyone loves a party. After a grueling week of work and studying whose sole purpose it seems is to torture you by the very effective means of intense boredom, the weekend seems like a personal congratulatory gift from God. And what better way to celebrate this than to meet up with friends, and dance a week’s worth of tension away? Invite your friends over, and spend some time filled with music, movement, people, drinks and good food, forgetting life’s not so fine happenings and demands for a few hours, and just enjoying yourself! You get to laugh, move in different ways, and maybe rant to a fellow very-drunk party goer who will hopefully forget everything the next morning (WARNING: Do not try this too much). But with great fun, comes great responsibility. Organizing a party requires effort, dedication and lots of planning. So here’s a list to help be the perfect host/hostess!
10. CAPTURE THE MOMENTS
Pictures make for great memories, and parties are best when unforgettable. (Proof of theory: The Hangover). So do record the stolen hours from regular life, and see how much more exciting trips down memory lane become when backed with great visuals of you looking your best!
Hiring a professional photographer for a party is too expensive and too tedious a process, so the best way is to request a friend with a good camera to help you out. So that s/he doesn’t have to keep clicking throughout, pass the camera around every ten fifteen minutes to other friends who you’ve asked beforehand to help you out.
9. THE ODD ONE OUT
Remember that birthday party of your mom’s friend’s son that you were made to attend as a child? Where every other guest was from the birthday boys school and everyone knew each other and no one knew you? And you just sat in the corner till Auntie ji got you some cake and didn’t get any of the teacher jokes everyone laughed at and just waited to leave? Yeah, try not putting any of your guests into that position.
If you’re throwing a college party, it is best not to invite that one person you became really close to during your summer internship. S/he will feel awkward throughout in a crowd which spends literally everyday with each other. However, if you really want her to meet your college friends, give her the option of a plus one. She will be more comfortable mixing with other people if it’s not forced upon her out of necessity, and you will also be much more relaxed and wouldn’t have to continually worry about entertaining her.
8. CRASH HOUSE
If you’re throwing a late night party, there is a possibility that some people won’t be able to arrange their rides back home. Others might be too indisposed for you to morally allow them to drive back home. Thus, there are chances of some guests sleeping over. This is one common hazard of hosting a party, and one that you need to be aware of. So try and have a couple of extra mattresses and pillows in your house. Don’t advertise it, people might take advantage and drink too much or not really make an effort to arrange a ride, but organize it in case of emergencies anyway. It’s always a good idea to be prepared! (And never a good idea to sleep on one bed with four people getting kicked and punched and having your blanket repeatedly stolen.)
7. UNDOING THE DIRTY
Alas this is by far the most painful part of throwing a party: cleaning up. It’s boring and endless and you’re probably tired from dancing too much last night. However, it’s very crucial. Best way to manage this is to have many dustbins in the main area where the party is hosted. This prevents it from getting too messy in the first place. If it’s one of those wild college parties, having sickness bags handy is also a good idea. Try convincing a friend or two to help you clean up afterward, you’ll probably get help.
Keep one room of your house out of bounds for the party, so even if you want to delay cleaning up, you have a sane room to collect yourself back together and do work or just relax.
6. INTERIOR DESIGN
Make sure there is enough furniture for all guests to sit on! If it’s a small get together, arrange your furniture in a compact manner so everyone can talk to everyone else. If you’re inviting a lot of people, and want to have a bit of fun and dance as well, arrange your furniture along the walls in the biggest space of your venue. This will leave a large middle space that can be used as a dance floor.
Keep the lighting in mind, neither too bright now too dull will set the right mood. You can spice this up by using fairy lights, which can be bought in most places and are cheap. You could arrange them on your walls in interesting patterns or even put them in empty wine bottles (which you can paint also). This will give a nice eerie appeal to your settings. Keep the temperature comfortable too.
If it is a garden party, make sure you light enough mosquito repellents!
5. KEEP YOUR THINGS SAFE
You’ll probably have some glass objects and other breakables decorating your house. It’s a good idea to get those out of the way before the party starts, especially if it’s a dance party. Even if it’s an unbreakable object that is really special to you, don’t leave it open for everyone to admire and touch and take. Keep such things in locked drawers or in a room out of bounds for others guest.
4. GET THE BEATS RIGHT
Music is often what makes or breaks a party. A party with bad music is a bad party. So be very careful while deciding your playlist (do decide a playlist beforehand). Keep your guest list in mind while selecting songs. You have to cater to their desires. It is best to choose the most popular music going around, even if it’s not your favorite (especially if your favorite is something like Lamb of God or Norwegian Folk music, which might just drive people away). Download the billboards if you’re lost, and old classics can always be relied upon for a quite dinner.
Arrange good powerful speakers, and do the polite thing and pre-inform your neighbors that you’re hosting a party.
3. GET THE EATS RIGHT
Deciding the menu is a vital step in planning a party. Decide on a cuisine first, and then keep the items varied so that everyone can enjoy. Have at least one vegetarian dish (unless you make sure beforehand that everyone you’re inviting is a non-vegetarian). A low fat salad or a spicy dish is also advisable. Organize a round of snacks before dinner starts, but be careful not to make them so heavy that everyone is full before the main course even begins.
Keep soft drinks, lemonade or iced tea for the teetotalers. Alcoholic drinks often become too expensive, so you can some guests to contribute in that department. Or you can declare a straightforward BYOB. Dress up your drinks well to give them an extra edge.
2. DRESS YOURSELF
No one likes a shabby host! So often people get so involved in getting the party arrangements right that they forget to start getting their appearance right until fifteen minutes too late, and then just end up swiping sweat off their foreheads and hastily changing into an inside out dress (okay it probably doesn’t get that bad, but you know what I’m saying). So keep at least half an hour for yourself, and dress yourself as carefully as you set up your venue. Don’t cut your personal grooming time too short.
1. PROJECT X
Do NOT let this happen. Things do not get as bad as shown in the movie, but they do come a close second. I’m speaking from personal experience of attending and unfortunately hosting such a house party. Needless to say, I haven’t hosted another one in the eight months since. Keep an eye on the liquor flow, and on the plus one’s that your guests bring. Don’t invite eighty people to a house which has three rooms. Keep your surroundings under control.
Having said that, don’t spend every moment worried sick and acting like a crazy hostel warden. Enjoy yourself! It’s your party after all!